How are you all keeping? I just want to start today’s blogpost, by saying a massive thank you to each and everyone of you, for all the support in my previous post. I am so happy to be back writing, and I look forward to creating much more exciting content, during these summer months.
However, in the mean time, I write today’s blogpost with a very heavy heart.
I’m sure by now you have all heard about the death of George Floyd. The black man who was murdered in Minneapolis on the 25th of May, 2020. Floyd was knelt on, and pinned to the ground by law enforcement, to the point that he was no longer able to breathe. This case is one of many, that captures the ever present reality of police brutality and racism in modern society. It seems like lately, these cases are becoming a lot more frequent, and as a black person this causes me a lot of grief.
In the last few days, I have found myself questioning whether my life, and the lives of those that look like me, matter at all, in today’s society. It has been 155 years since the end of the American Civil War, yet race still divides us not only in the United States, but also across the globe. More often than not, we are still faced with prejudices, inequalities, injustices, and racial discrimination, despite the good fight, activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Malcom X, fought in the past.
So why does it seem like very little has changed? Why does it feel like we are regressing rather than progressing? What happened to treating everyone with dignity, respect and equality?
Where is the love for one another?
I for one, would love to know the answers to these questions – but for now, it’s important that we stand as one, to remind ourselves, and others, that;
and I matter.
Despite the message that may be flooding your timeline at present, please remember that you are of value. The colour of your skin is not a threat – it is not a weapon that that needs to be contained, restrained, oppressed and destroyed.
First of all, my sincere apologies for being inactive on this site recently, but as you all know (from my endless rants on Instagram), I’ve got a degree to get!
So far this academic year has not been the easiest, but I really can’t complain because despite the constant weight on my shoulders, no tears have been shed! But I will get into all of that in another blog post, sometime soon!
Today, however, I’ve decided to come out of my shadow to share the highlights of my trip to Albufeira, Portugal.
One of my childhood friends turned 20 this year, and to mark the occasion, some of her friends and I, decided to embark on a girls trip to celebrate.
We flew from Dublin Airport at 7:40 and arrived at Faro Airport around 10:40.
When we arrived in Faro, we were collected and driven to our accommodation
For the duration of our trip we stayed in the Club Ouratlantico Apartments. These apartments were in walking distance to all local amenities, making it a lot easier for us to explore everything Albufeira had to offer!
DAY ONE– FRIDAY
After a morning full of traveling and very little sleep, we decided to take it easy on ourselves and just wander the streets of Albufeira.
We eventually found ourselves at the beach, Praia dos Alamães. While walking along the beach, we stumbled upon the Beach Spot Restaurant. Despite being confused by the menu at first, we ended up getting lovely food and drinks here for a very reasonable price! The restaurant was situated in such a lovely ‘spot’ on the beach, which offered such a beautiful scenic view, from the upper outdoor terrace.
Later that evening we decided to go and explore the Strip. The ambiance of the Montechoro strip was very lively and friendly. It had so much to offer, from bars to corner shops and everything in between. With every step we took, we encountered hawkers, who did not shy away from sharing their latest enticements.
Our first evening in Albufeira was very random, to say the least. It consisted of karaoke, fish pedicures and a miniature pig we all will never forget! But like they say,
“The best memories are usually unplanned, random and spontaneous”.
DAY TWO – SATURDAY
Breakfast was definitely my favourite meal during this holiday. We got breakfast in Urban Pizza on the Saturday and Sunday because it was just that good!
The freshly squeezed orange juice was exactly what we all needed to start our one and only full day in Portugal.
On Saturday we headed to Aquashow in Quarteira. We bought our tickets at a local shop on our way to the aqua park because the vendors sell them at a cheaper rate. The tickets were €26.10 per person. This ticket gave us free access to all rides in the park.
The first ride we went on together was the water rollercoaster. I was genuinely so surprised at how much I enjoyed this ride considering I have a fear of heights and drowning. The park is designed with everyone in mind, so even if I wasn’t feeling as brave as I did, I could have had just as much fun on rides that didn’t involve speed, heights or water.
That evening after a good rest, we decided to get dressed up and head back to the strip for our final evening in Albufeira.
Dinner was then, followed by strolls down the strip and an ice-cream date.
We were travelling back to Dublin on Sunday evening, so we all woke up extremely nostalgic. The trip had just gone by so so fast! We had such a fabulous time in Albufeira, and enjoyed everything little thing it had to offer.
Before I dive into today’s post, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone near and far for all the support and words of encouragement since uploading my first blog post. I am truly grateful.
Today’s blog post is inspired by a conversation I had with one of my close friends last week, where they opened up about not being in a great place at the moment. This is something that each of us can relate to, at various points of our lives, but because of the many demands of life, often we do not attend to ourselves accordingly. Although we often neglect it, self care is crucial. Self care is defined as the actions one takes to attend to their physical, emotional, relational and spiritual well being. I have decided to share five of my go-to things I do when I am not feeling top-notch, that help me recharge and refocus.
1. Pray and Read the Bible
Praying, reading the bible and/or listening to gospel or worship music are things I find very soothing. Whenever I pray about something that is or has been worrying me I suddenly feel at ease concerning the issue that is consuming me. Reading the word, strengthens me if I am feeling weak and reminds me that God’s plans for me are much greater than I can ever imagine. Here are a few verses that encourage me;
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6
He has made everything beautiful in its time… -Ecclesiastes 3:11
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus -Philippians 4:6-7
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day -Psalm 46:5
She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future -Proverbs 31:25
I am with you always -Matthew 28:20
2. Drink Tea
Maybe it’s the ‘Irishness’ in me, but whenever I am stressed I suddenly crave nothing more than a cup of tea. Unfortunately, when I am anxious, the caffeine in tea sets my brain on overdrive which causes me to then overthink. However, a great alternative which still manages to calm my nerves is peppermint tea.
3. Pamper yourself
When I am feeling under the weather there is nothing I value more than my pamper kit (pictured above), which I store in my bed side locker for easy access. Although the application and use of face masks, eye masks and nail polish can often be time consuming, they leave your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The aromatic essential oils that are infused in many of these products relax the mind by stimulating your senses.
4. Listen to Music
If you asked me to define music in my own words, I would describe it as a medium that is capable of delivering various emotions to different people. As mentioned previously, gospel/worship music is a personal favorite of mine when I need that extra comfort. However, once I have had my dose of relaxing ‘me’ time, to continue the process of raising my spirits, I usually play my current favourite upbeat jams.
5. Talk to someone
“A problem shared is a problem halved”
A misconception a lot of us have is that, we are suddenly burdens to our loved ones when we share our problems, struggles and/or pain. This however, is not the case. Talking about things that affect you with another person, usually makes the situation seem less daunting and troubling. Just make sure that you are speaking to someone you trust and, that has your best interest at heart, so that you can be reassured that the advice you will get or be given will actually benefit you.
So there you have it, there are the five main things I do when I am not feeling like my best self. We are all wired differently as individuals, so things that work for me might not work for you, but it’s important to find healthy coping mechanisms to overcome lives endless hurdles. If you still haven’t found something that works for you, feel free to try one of mine listed above.